Its been so long since I posted!! I know, I know – I still have to post about Bennelong AND Japan as well…and for those of you who don’t follow my other social media outlets – I got engaged in Japan! Wearing a rock on my finger has taken some getting used to, but with getting back into work, planning an engagement party for later this year, and successfully landing a new job, things have been much more hectic than they were before we left for our getaway.
Exercising five times a week with work really saps your energy – and then just when you think you can relax at home – you remember that with all that exercise comes a huge pile of smelly laundry that never seems to decrease, and all that meal prep to ensure that you don’t end up getting takeaway mid-week. For some reason, I’ve decided that it will be an excellent idea to push myself even more, and I have submitted by interest for the Body Transformation Challenge at my gym.
From what I’ve heard so far, this will involve a meal plan and additional exercise, as well as check-in sessions by the trainers to make you feel appropriately guilty about those Tim Tams you gobbled down while at work in between your chicken and brown rice meals. I’ve told the owner of my gym about my food blog and how much I love experimenting with recipes, and she’s agreed that if they can provide me with knowledge as to the basics, I can work with it as I like. Because I honestly think that if I have to eat chicken and brown rice and nothing else for the next two months, I may as well just die now. Honestly.
The challenge starts around mid-June and goes to mid-August – one of the hardest times of the year for me to eat healthily because it’s winter, and that’s comfort food season! Goodbye to buttery potato mash, hearty pasta dishes, and oozing Bechamel sauce. And sayonara to the piping hot desserts bread and butter pud, sticky date, apple pie and crumble…
I’m hopeful that I will get provided some sort of healthy version of apple crumble I get to work with, as apples are one of the best parts of autumn/winter. But in the meantime, I’m going to have to savour this quite indulgent, very buttery crumble which is perfect for those cooling evenings at home. Don’t get too scared by the amount of butter in this – it sets into a deliciously crispy oat crumble, with toffee-caramelised edges over a base of soft, stewed apple. I’m going to enjoy every bite I have leading up to June 17 😦
You will need:
- Five Pink lady apples, cored, peeled and chopped into 1cm pieces;
- 1/4 cup water;
- 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon;
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice;
- 1 cup caster sugar;
- 1+ 1/2 cups plain flour;
- 1 cup rolled oats;
- 225g butter, melted.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius.
Place the diced apples and water into a large saucepan and bring to a medium hot temperature. Add the cinnamon, allspice, and 1/4 cup of the caster sugar, stir and allow to simmer with the lid off for ten to fifteen minutes until the apples are softened and slightly translucent at the edges.
Make your crumble by placing the flour, sugar, cinnamon, oats and butter into a large bowl and mix until just combined.
Spoon the apple mixture evenly into a 1.5L capacity ovenproof dish or baking tray, and top with the crumble mixture.
Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the crumble is golden and bubbles merrily at the edges. Remove and cool for five minutes before serving with vanilla ice cream or vanilla custard.
If you want to reheat this but don’t want to eat all of it at once, cut and spoon it into a smaller ovenproof bowl/dish and heat in a preheated oven. Chilled, the crumble will keep in the fridge for a week (if it lasts that long!).